Three Monkeys Online

A Curious, Alternative Magazine

The Monkey's Typewriter

Shane Barry lives in Dublin and works as a technical writer for an international software company. Between 2004 and 2008 Shane blogged regularly for TMO under the title of The Monkey's Typewriter. Shane also conducted a number of interviews for TMO, which are also collected here.

Fox-Tossing and Other Entertainments

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

Taking advantage of an extended Christmas/New Year’s vacation, I’ve been working my way through Tim Blanning’s “magisterial” (i.e. very long) The Pursuit of Glory, which covers developments in Europe in the century-and-a-half between the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 and the final defeat of Napoleon in 1815. Blanning’s approach might be described as dialectical, with […]

The Howard Beale Candidate

Friday, January 4th, 2008

Enjoying the sunshine and the weak dollar in the company of my wife’s family in Arizona, I have found it difficult to put the rest of the world’s travails in perspective. Sure, I’ve diligently waded through the New York Times (BTW, the new narrower format seems to confirm the widespread simile that compares the newspaper […]

Dreck the Halls…

Friday, December 21st, 2007

I know it’s a somewhat limited demographic, but if you’ve had a prefrontal lobotomy during the past few weeks, finding appropriate Christmas TV fare can be a challenge. You want something light, so as not to distract you from the absorbing task of managing your drool. Well, RTE has just the programme for you–Celebrity Jigs […]

History 2.0

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

Despite unleashing the phrase “Web 2.0” on an unsuspecting world, Tim O’Reilly can be considered one of the computer industry’s good guys. The books released by O’Reilly are a cut above the usual illiterate tat that passes for software documentation and O’Reilly himself seems to have a genuine belief that technology can be used for […]

A Modern Conundrum

Friday, December 14th, 2007

This week The New York Times/International Herald Tribune painted a bleak picture of modern Italy with “In a Funk, Italy Sings an Aria of Disappointment“: “[For] all the outside adoration and all of its innate strengths, Italy seems not to love itself. The word here is “malessere,” or “malaise”; it implies a collective funk—economic, political […]


Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

From The Monkey’s Typewriter’s modern-life-is-rubbish research department this urgent piece of information:Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year 2007 is “w00t” “w00t? wtf?”, you might be asking. Well, according to the M-W site it’s an interjection “expressing joy (it could be after a triumph, or for no reason at all); similar in use to the word “yay”.”More […]

It’s a Dirty Job But…

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government John Gormley shows why the Green Party is so popular with da kids by telling us how he spends his days in his blog.This week, John’s in Bali. But he’s not like those FF types with their sleazy junkets. John’s just here to save the planet:”I arrived […]

A Terrible Column is Borne

Monday, December 10th, 2007

The most charitable epithet for John Waters’s column in today’s Irish Times is “misconceived.” A more accurate description would be don’t-know-where-to-look awful. Waters’s musings on the death of a young Irish socialite, Katy French –whom Waters admits he met just once–presents the dismaying spectacle of a writer who has floated free from the moorings of […]

Out Stealing Horses

Friday, December 7th, 2007

Having reached about the half-way point of the novel during this morning’s commute, I can see why Per Petterson’s Out Stealing Horses won the IMPAC award and secured a berth on so many best-of-2007 lists. Almost every page features a line or paragraph embedded with a truth you didn’t know you already knew. And it […]

And We’re Surprised They Can’t Calculate Their Losses?

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

Addressing the unfolding meltdown in the financial industry, a recent cover of Fortune magazine depicted some of the Wall Street head honchos who were forced to fall on their swords. Above the photos of the fallen, the strapline asked “What were they smoking?” A salacious story in the New York Times on the suspicious death […]